Covid-19 Mustn’t Derail Ethiopia’s Quest for Universal Health Coverage, WHO says

ADDIS ABABA – President Sahlework Zewde met with UN’s Assistant Secretary-General and WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, in Addis Ababa where they discussed the status of Universal Health (UHC) coverage in Ethiopia.

The two officials agreed that achieving UHC must remain a top priority in Ethiopia, according to WHO Ethiopia.

“Other key health programs must not be derailed by the COVID19 pandemic,” it said.

After the discussion, the visiting WHO official has also expressed her “pleasure meeting with” President Sahlework.

“Appreciate continued partnership and collaboration to promote UHC despite the massive disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” she added.

President Sahlework, on her part, thanked WHO’s African office for the continued support in promoting health in Ethiopia as well as responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier that meeting, Dr. Moeti held a meeting with Ethiopia’s Deputy Prime Minister and foreign minister Demeke Mekonnen.

The two discussed the ongoing United Nations collaboration to promote the health agenda in Ethiopia.

Noting the remarkable health system Ethiopia was able to build in the last decades, Demeke said the country is keen to work with the WHO to add up on the achievements registered in expanding Primary Health Care too to the population.

Regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, Demeke highlighted that global solidarity is indispensable more than ever before to effectively respond to this unprecedented crisis.

He also said the COVID-19 vaccine should be “a global public good for no one is safe until everyone is safe which necessitates the price to be affordable by the majority of the people in the world”.

Dr. Moeti, on her part, said Ethiopia is a longstanding partner with the WHO adding that their working relationship should further be cemented with expanded health-sector engagements.

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